Success in Attaining Independent Funding among National Institutes of Health K Grant Awardees in Ophthalmology: An Extended Follow-up

Nicholas J. Protopsaltis, Allison J. Chen, Vicky Hwang, Steven J. Gedde, Daniel L. Chao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Importance: Understanding factors associated with attaining independent research funding by ophthalmology clinician-scientists receiving National Eye Institute career development awards (K08 or K23) in ophthalmology can be important to maintaining the pipeline of clinician-scientists. Objective: To provide continued follow-up of a cohort of ophthalmology clinician-scientists who received National Institutes of Health (NIH) K career development grants. Design, Setting, and Participants: Cohort study from an electronic database review of ophthalmologists who have received either a K08 or K23 career development grant from the NIH. Data were analyzed between December 30, 2015, and December 30, 2017. Main Outcomes and Measures: Receipt of an NIH R01 grant. Results: We previously characterized a group of more than 100 ophthalmologists who received K awards from 1996 to 2010, of whom 29 were awarded R01 grants. In follow-up of this cohort in 2017, 27 additional K awardees of this initial cohort were awarded an R01 from 2011 to 2017, leading to a total of 62 of 128 ophthalmologists receiving an R01. The mean time to receiving an R01 grant after the K award ended was 2.8 years. The data did not identify a definitive association with sex, having a PhD degree, or research tier of university in obtaining an R01 grant in this cohort. Conclusions and Relevance: In comparison with our previous report of the same cohort, there was a 93% increase in the number of K awardees who have received an R01 award, with the mean time to award being nearly 3 years after completing their K grant. This suggests that most K awardees in ophthalmology are successful in obtaining R01 grants, but one should recognize this may be several years after their K grant has ended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1335-1340
Number of pages6
JournalJAMA ophthalmology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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